Dr. Matthew Purtill, Ph.D., M.A., M.A.

Dr. Matthew Purtill
Dr. Matthew Purtill
Assistant Professor

Jewett Hall 216/218

Ph.D., West Virginia University

Personal Website

My research is interdisciplinary and incorporates a diverse blend of archaeology, geomorphology, hydrology, geology, geochemistry, and pedology -- all loosely placed under the moniker ‘geoarchaeology’. Geoarchaeology includes methods and theories developed in Earth sciences to resolve archaeological questions related to human settlement and land-use behavior, landform and site development, paleoenvironmental reconstructions, and more. In employing this perspective, I concur with Dr. Lucy Wilson who offers that geoarchaeology has the potential to “provide a more inclusive and longer-term view of human–geosphere interactions, and serve as a valuable aid to those who try to determine sustainable policies for the future“ (Lucy Wilson, The role of geoarchaeology in extending our perspective, Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 352, 1-9, 2011). Geoarchaeology extends our perspective into a deeper, more distant past and aligns with recent theoretical trends emphasizing the persistent impact of human activity on geomorphic processes and altered landscapes.

Teaching Interests

Geomorphology, Hydrogeology, Geographic Information Systems

Research Interests

Currently, I'm interested in the timing and distribution of eolian systems in the Midcontinental U.S. and the potential that late Pleistocene-Holocene deposition may cover archaeological data. I've also been involved in the study of North America's earliest colonizers - archaeologically referred to as the Paleoindians - and how they interacted with their environment.

Media Contributions

  • Fredonia Campus Report (2020).
  • Fredonia Campus Report (2019).
  • Fredonia News and Events (2019).